Preview - Portugal vs Egypt 24 March 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 22, 2018, 10:36 PM

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International Friendly
Portugal vs Egypt
Saturday, March 24th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Estádio Nacional

Last five matches form: W W W W D
Average goals per match: 3.2
Average goals against per match: 0.4
Top scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (79)

Last five matches form: L L W W D
Average goals per match: 1.5
Average goals against per match: 0.6
Top scorer: Mohamed Salah (32)

A real treat in store with this friendly clash, as two of the best players on the planet lead their sides into battle. Having each scored four in their most recent match for their club sides, if Ronaldo and Mo Salah are able to carry that form onto the international stage for Portugal and Egypt respectively, we could be in for a cracker.

European Champions Portugal got off to a poor start in their world Cup qualification group when losing away to Switzerland, but were just about unstoppable after that, winning each of their nine remaining games, and conceding only three goals in the process.

Egypt also got off to the worst possible start when surprisingly losing away to Chad, but also recovered to qualify for the finals, albeit not in quite so straightforward a fashion as their hosts, eventually needing a last gasp Mo Salah penalty to seal their place.

Whilst Ronaldo is in the squad for this game and next week's clash with Holland, it will be interesting to see how much game time he is given with Real Madrid still heavily involved in the Champions League. Portugal also look to be short on numbers at the back and may be in trouble heading into the finals should anything happen to the veteran pairing of Bruno Alves and Jose Fonte.

With the electric Salah leading the way Egypt do have enough about them to suggest they will get on the scoresheet here, but Portugal look to have much the stronger overall eleven and should win this in front on their own fans. Should Ronaldo not be risked however, this could well be tight.

Prediction: Portugal 2 - 1 Egypt


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 2 - 1
Shots: 9 - 3
Shots on target: 5 - 2
Corner Kicks: 7 - 0
Possession: 60% - 40%

An entertaining affair this one, between two sides led by two of the most in form players in world football.

Portugal thought they had the lead in the 41st minute. Rolando latching on to a flick on following a free kick to head home. Upon consultation with his linesman though, the referee ruled the effort out for a push in the box. 0-0 at half time.

In the end it was Egypt who took the lead and no prizes for guessing it was that man Mohamed Salah who broke the deadlock. Playing a one-two down the left hand side, when the ball arrived back to an unmarked Salah on the edge of the box the Liverpool man struck a perfectly placed effort into the bottom corner. 1-0 it remained until the 90th minute, but Egypt would ultimately end up losing this game…..

If there is one player in World football who refuses to be upstaged, and simply must have the final word, then that man is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star did it once again here, in remarkable circumstances.

It was in the 92nd minute that Ricardo Quaresma swung in a cross from deep on the left hand side to find Ronaldo arriving on the edge of the six yard box. The skipper has headed better balls than this but got enough on it to beat the keeper from point blank range. 92nd minute or not, friendly or not, Ronaldo raced to retrieve the ball in order to get the game restarted. Surely no time for a winner?

94th minute now. Free kick from the right-hand side. Ronaldo leaps like a salmon and bullets a header into the back of the Egyptian net. Unbelievable!

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